A warm welcome to Nell Pattison, who is interviewing Paige Northwood from her chilling murder mystery, Silent Night. First, let’s find out a bit more about the book.
What happened while they were sleeping?
A school for the deaf takes an overnight trip to the snowy woods. Five teenagers go to sleep, but only four wake up. Leon is missing, and a teacher’s body is found in the forest…
Sign language interpreter Paige Northwood is brought in to help with interrogations. Everyone at the school has a motive for murder – but they all have an alibi.
As Paige becomes increasingly involved, she suspects there’s something sinister going on. With the clock ticking to find Leon, only one thing is certain: the killer is among them, and ready to strike again…
Now let’s move onto Nell’s interview with Paige Northwood
How did you become a BSL interpreter?
I’m hearing but the rest of my family are deaf – my younger sister, Anna, and my parents. I grew up using BSL, so it wasn’t a new skill I had to learn. After my dad died, I needed to get a job to help my mum out, so I registered as an unqualified interpreter, then completed the qualifications. It was only intended to be a stop-gap, but it’s turned into my career.
How did you end up interpreting for the police?
I don’t work for an agency any more, so when I went freelance I made sure I gave my contact details to the police, the local hospitals, social services, the local shelters for the homeless and for those escaping domestic violence – anyone who might need an interpreter in a hurry. It’s not uncommon to wait days for an interpreter, but I try to make myself available at short notice, so people suffering a crisis don’t need to wait. There was a murder case a year ago, and the family involved were all BSL users, so the police contacted me for support. Now I’m their first choice should they need an interpreter.
Have you ever thought about joining the police yourself?
No way, I’d never pass the physical! I have enjoyed working with the police, because I like the satisfaction of having helped them to solve a mystery and bring a killer to justice, but I would find it far too stressful on a daily basis.
Who are your other clients, besides the police?
All sorts of people. I have regular clients who will book me whenever they have an appointment – whether it’s with a doctor, a lawyer, an estate agent, or parents’ evening at their child’s school. Then there are different professionals who might need an interpreter, such as social services, housing associations, training providers… The list is endless. Deaf people come from all backgrounds, so there are many life situations in which they might need an interpreter. I have a friend who specialises in theatre and concerts, because she loves the environment and the feeling of being on a stage in front of a packed auditorium, but I prefer to work in more day-to-day situations.
How do you keep current with BSL, particularly slang?
BSL evolves just like any other language, and there are regional variations that I pick up if I travel within the UK. Whenever I go to the Deaf club I seem to pick up something new, and through conversation with my clients and my sister. My boyfriend, Max, is also deaf, and he works with children, so he tells me if he picks up any new slang, too.
If you weren’t an interpreter, what would you do for a living?
I started a university course in art and textiles, but dropped out when my Dad died. I think if I’d completed the course I would have pursued an artistic career.
What’s your biggest regret in life?
Not seeing my Dad before he died. He had a heart attack very suddenly, and he had passed away by the time I arrived at the hospital. We weren’t a very demonstrative family, and I wish I’d told him more often that I loved him.
Where would we find you on a Saturday night?
Probably on the sofa watching something on Netflix, either with Max or Anna. Occasionally, my best friend, Gem, might drag me out to a bar, but I prefer a night in!
If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you’d buy?
It’s a bit of a moot point, because I never play the lottery. My ex was a financially abusive gambling addict, so I don’t have even the smallest flutter myself. But if I came into a large amount of money, I’d probably buy myself a new car. I do love my little car, but it’s getting on a bit.
Love the sound of the book? Want to find out if Paige succeeds in catching the killer? You can grab a copy of Silent Night here:
After studying English at university, Nell Pattison became a teacher and specialised in Deaf education. She has been teaching in the Deaf community for 14 years in both England and Scotland, working with students who use BSL, and began losing her hearing in her twenties. She lives in North Lincolnshire with her husband and son. Nell is the author of novels The Silent House, which was a USA Today bestseller,and Silent Night, featuring British Sign Language interpreter Paige Northwood.
You can find Nell on Twitter as @writer_nell and Instagram as @writernell
Thanks for dropping by to tell us about your book, Nell. Wishing you many sales!
The Stranger In My Bed is available as an ebook, audio book or paperback. Amazon: https://geni.us/B08GKRRPWHSocial